Since the Supreme Court struck down a federal ban on sports betting, 34 states have legalized the activity. However, there are some aspects of official betting that may not be fully understood by casual fans or even seasoned “sharps,” as professional sports bettors are called.

Sportsbooks have become one of the fastest growing entertainment markets in the United States since the Supreme Court decision. But the rules and regulations surrounding the sport are complex, and there are certain wagers that are prohibited in the name of integrity.

MLB officials work closely with regulators, sportsbooks and independent integrity monitors to enforce betting policies and monitor betting activity. Those who are found to be violating the rules face disciplinary action. For example, tanking a game or asking another team to lose on purpose will lead to a three-year ban. Likewise, personnel who offer or receive a gift to an umpire will be permanently barred from the sport.

PURDUM: The league’s initial stance was that broadening sports betting could jeopardize the integrity of games by creating more opportunities for match-fixing. That’s a pretty strong statement. ROTT: Yeah, I think that’s still a concern. But there are also theories that the league is just trying to make sure its reputation is Teflon.

Colorado became the 19th state to allow sports betting after the 2020 election, and its online and in-person sportsbooks launched in November of 2021. The state also banned some types of wagers, including player prop bets in collegiate games.